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5 Steps to a Better Audit

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- The audit landscape is changing. As more major food retailers like Wal-Mart join the Global Food Safety Initiative, or GFSI, more facilities must be audited to GFSI-approved standards. Changing standards affect every part of your audit, including the pest management portion. Orkin experts Dr. Ron Harrison and Dr. Zia Siddiqi teach there are five steps to a successful audit in this changing landscape. - The first step to a successful audit is to ensure that you have a written Integrated Pest Management, or IPM program. The components of a written IPM program really are two-fold. First of all, what the pest management company or the pest professional is going to be doing in reference to what pest they're targeting, what exclusion methods they're actually doing, what recommendations they're going to provide to the facility. But second of all, then, in this partnership, the facility itself needs to clearly have written out what they're going to be doing in reference to how often they communicate, what sanitation issues they're going to be doing, so it's a partnership of both the pest management professional and the facility. And if it's clearly written out, then everyone is able to do their part. The second step, which is extremely important, is documentation. And what we mean by that is that everything after this written document is put out, is clearly articulated, meaning anything that's going on in that facility is understood. What pests are seen, what products are used, how often actually visits are occurring, and that documentation really involves both the pest control professional as well as the facility. They're documenting what's happening. So a successful audit, therefore, an auditor will come in and pull that up and know what's happening in that facility, rather than just someone saying, "I think I saw that." So complete documentation is essential to a successful audit. - Another key document requirement is the pesticide application data. Not only that we need pesticide application data who applied, when applied, where it was applied, but also need to support it with the product label and MSDS, Materiel Safety Data Sheet. And these need to be current, and for the product we applied has to be in the log book for the audit to conform. - A new documentation requirement is evidence of training for all individuals involved in the IPM program. - Training is an integral part to successful safety. Most auditors require, at least once a year, a training program to be put on inside the facility, and pest control professionals can provide that for the facility. Of course, the pest control professional also needs the training, but just across the board, sometimes it's new material they need to know, or just reviewing things that they maybe slipped and already forgotten. The third step that's really important to making sure an audit is successful relates to observation of what's going on in the facility. So there's two things we want to pay attention to. First of all, sanitation issues that may be attracting or impacting food safety inside your facility. But second of all, also observing any type of pest that may be there as well. - Auditors want to make sure you're doing more than just observing pest issues. They want to see that you've taken responsible actions and modified your IPM program based on your observations. - Let's say for example, that a building has traps on the outside and the auditing criteria in the previous standards would say "place trap every 50 feet." Well, I put my traps every 50 feet, but I'm not really catching anything, or maybe I'm catching more. So now I need to look at my monitoring data and I can adjust the distance between the traps and the service frequency based on what I'm finding. For example, if on the south side there is no rodent activity and I've got ten traps there, maybe I can reduce that down to five or four or three but I still need to have some protection. But the key here is that this decision has to be based on what my findings are, what my monitoring data reveals, and then I take the decision. So first I need to do bench marking and have some historical data before I go and change my pest management strategy. - The fourth step to a successful audit is pest trend analysis. - In doing an analysis, what we really want to know is what's happening to the pests inside or outside of the facility, meaning are they on the increase, or are they on the decrease? The only way to do that is to do counts. And we count two different things. First of all, live pest sightings. So how many mice are actually being seen? Or how many cockroaches? Or how many ants? And we want to keep track of that, usually on a weekly basis, so that we know is it on the increase or on the decrease? And we ought to do this over many years so we can, even seasonally sometimes pests become a problem. Second of all, are signs of pests. So we may look at droppings, cast skins, sputum, rub marks, all of those things are indicators that pests are there. So we don't just have to have live insects to be able to look at the trends that are going on, we can look at things they leave behind. - Typically, pest trend analysis needs to be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Certainly, the data is captured every time the service is being done, data is available, but I think as a partnership between the pest management provider, the pest management service provider, and the facility management a quarterly review is very critical. - The fifth step to successful audit is the annual facility assessment. What's most important in the annual assessment is ensuring that what's going on now is going to continue. And just like all of us have an annual physical, it's the same type of thing. Inside that facility, how are things going and what's the future? So you kind of think back, okay, is the IPM program as it ought to be? Are we documenting the way we ought to do? What about the observing of the pests and the trend analysis? All four of those components will be evaluated in an annual assessment to make sure that everything is working exactly as it should to make sure that the food is safe. - By following these five steps you can ensure your facility is better positioned to face the next food safety audit.

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Duration: 6 minutes and 24 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: rbanderas on Jan 23, 2019

5 Steps to a Better Audit

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